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Garden Diary: Feb. 23, 2019 OVERWHELMED!

The warm weather has come too soon, and I lost out on the cool weather I needed to get the beds ready for planting. I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish all that I had planned, because I simply can't work in the heat. Once it gets past 75 F, I have to go inside. 

So many "have to do this before I can do that" things are holding me back. I wanted to do the courtyard first, but I need to sell or give away
some of these plants before I can do that, because there is literally no place to put them if I remove them from the courtyard. I still haven't taken the bananas out, but there are so many plants in there, I can't get to them to take them out. I also haven't moved the Jerusalem artichokes, and they definitely need moving.

The South Facing Garden

I really want to take out all but a few things in there and move them elsewhere or give them away, but I need to clean up and ready the front yard garden before that can happen. That bed was where I originally just stuck everything wherever I had space, and it needs to be redone badly. 

The Hibiscus Bed

One of the hibiscus in the bed, my favorite, died in the freeze of January 2018, so I've replaced it with a brugmansia seedling and added an elderberry and pigeon peas. I want to take out some of the ground covers in there, because they are getting hard to control. I have green and purple wandering jew, peacock ginger and variegated Callisia fragrans growing there, and now that the peacock ginger has filled in, I'd like to remove some of them. I planted oyster plant as a border in that bed, but may replace it with small green liriope.

The Butterfly Garden

This bed just didn't work out well, because of the slugs, lizards and toads which ate all the butterfly larvae. It also has a rather large brugmansia, taro, purple lantana, red shrimp plant, a clump of giant liriope and a large magenta four-o'clock in it. I just planted my Clerodendrum bleeding heart in that bed also, and it's doing very well on the trellis that used to have cypress vine on it. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with that bed, but it's not good as a butterfly garden, for sure. I do think I'm going to remove most of the oyster plant and use it as a border on the front yard garden, and eventually replace it with the green liriiope.

The Front Yard Gardens

These are just a mess! I never planned on making them as large as they are, but I needed somewhere to put vining plants, and they have the privacy fence, so that worked out well. Right now, I'm planning to put a  lot of my zinnias, marigolds and cosmos in the large part of the bed for pollinators. I'm already seeing bees out and about, but there is not much for them to feed on, so I need to get that going quickly. I plan to move a lot of the bulbs along the fence so it will be a lot more easy-care. My dream is to put in lots of salvia and pentas for year-around color.

Shade Is Still a Problem

I'd dearly love to get all of my shade plants out of my living room window so I can start back growing my mini African violets in that window, but shade is still a problem in the courtyard, and will be a bigger problem when I take out the bananas. I think my only solution until I can get larger things growing is to build a shade structure of some sort on the north-facing face of the wall to accommodate the tropicals in the summer. 

I would like to actually get rid of most of my tropicals, but that's easier said than done. They are getting to be a real burden in the winter, so if I built a shade structure, I could possibly just cover it in the winter to protect them. 

So you can see why I'm overwhelmed. I'm only one person, and while my gardens may seem small, they're a big job to keep up for me. Anyway, things may not all get done this year, but they will get done eventually. In the meantime, I just keep doing what I can and hoping for cooler days.